Kayser quotes Alvin Toffler: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”
He discusses his method for how older workers can maintain their value – by staying “R-E-L-E-V-A-N-T.”
What it means to learn, unlearn and relearn. The ever-shifting sands of technology pose a special challenge to older workers. Younger professionals not only grew up working and entertaining themselves with screens, they also learned to adapt to technological leaps. A program you learn today may not be relevant in a few years, so keep an open and flexible mind. The good thing about all office work though is that the fundamentals are still there, you still need a desk and a computer, you still need to make sure that you get the right office furniture for your staff (you can order office furniture here if you haven’t already). So even though the technology is changing, the basics of a working office is still the same.
Being R-E-L-E-V-A-N-T… Take this mnemonic device to heart: Risk, Experiment, Listen and Learn, Engage, Value, Attitude of gratitude, No to negativity, and Time. “This is an ongoing, evolving note to keep in your mind no matter your professional situation,” Kayser says. “I’ve been around a lot of charismatic and effervescent folks in their 70s and 80s who are still successful and growing, both on a personal and business level. The acronym encompasses the ideas that seem to promote a proactive life.”
Answer the question, “What resonates with you?” This is a deceptively deep question when you apply it to your life’s trajectory. If life hasn’t turned out to be what you expected it would 30 years ago, then it’s time to recalibrate how you see yourself, especially if that’s as a perpetual pre-retiree. If you’re not sure of how you see yourself in today’s setting, start with what the spiritual writer Joseph Campbell called the “moving power of your life,” which can be sensed by the things that resonate within you. The things that resonate within you, such as an unusual book, may just be the compass you need to find your way.